There was a mini tempest that blew up when the first pictures of the Army's new/rebuilt sniper rifle were released and posted on the web a couple weeks ago.
The shots of the XM2010 (what was first known as the M24E1) that were released by PEO Soldier showed a rifle in old-school black. The Web went ballistic, wondering why the Army would make such a doctrinaire decision on the color of such a radical new rifle.
Well, according to PEO Soldier weapons Col. Doug Tamilio, the rebuilt rifle will be colored not in black, but in the Army's increasingly preferred FS 30118 "Dark Earth."
(The picture above shows an XM110 in Dark Earth)
So don't freak out there rifle painters, the Army's new longer-range bang stick will have the right color to reduce the glare.
But on a more intriguing note, is this the Army's version of Coyote brown? The Marine Corps found a darn good color that could transition between a lot of different environments -- and camo uniforms. When we spoke with the Army's honcho for camo development last week, we heard in greater detail that the Army could develop three different camo schemes (jungle/forest, transitional, desert) but that they would like a camo patter or color that could transition between the three of them so they wouldn't have to keep buying gear in different patterns.
Col. Bill Cole explained it's relatively easy for a uniform maker to switch out the colors for a screen printed on uniform fabric. But doing this for nylon gear such as body armor, web gear and packs is very expensive. It's the same thing the Corps does with its Coyote brown color, buying armor and web gear in that color and having Marines wear it across environments.
It'll be interesting to see whether we're right here. But the Dark Earth (which is a little greener than Cayote) seems like it fits the bill for a color that could blend with all environments.